Skip to comments.Pirate threatens India after capture of 61 pirates
Posted on 03/17/2011 12:43:04 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
Five dozen pirates living on a hijacked ship serving as a roving pirate base jumped into the Arabian Sea on Monday after the Indian navy fired on the vessel in self-defense, the navy said Monday.
The navy captured 61 pirates fleeing the battle and the fire that broke out aboard the hijacked vessel. The battle is the latest example of the piracy trade's turn toward increased violence.
A pirate in Somalia threatened Indian sailors and the government with targeted attacks in retaliation for the arrests.
The Indian navy said a patrol aircraft spotted the mothership Friday while responding to another vessel reporting a pirate attack. The pirates aborted the hijacking attempt and tried to escape on the mothership.
When the Indian ships closed in Sunday night, the pirates fired on them. The hijacked vessel caught fire when the Indian navy returned fire, the navy said.
The pirates had hijacked the Mozambique-flagged Vega 5 in December and had used it as a mothership. Indian sailors rescued 13 crew members from the Vega 5 Sunday night about 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) off Kochi in southern India, the statement said.
The pirates were carrying about 80 to 90 small arms or rifles and a few heavier weapons, likely rocket-propelled grenades, it said. The statement did not describe any casualties among the navy, the fishermen or the pirates in Sunday's clash.
The pirates were being taken to Mumbai, India's financial capital, to be prosecuted for attacking the Indian ships.
Piracy has plagued the shipping industry off East Africa for years, but violence and ransom demands have escalated in recent months. Pirates held some 30 ships and more than 660 hostages as of February.
A self-described pirate in Somalia who gave his name as Bile Hussein said the arrests will lead to "trouble" for Indian sailors and ships.
"They better release them, considering their people traveling in the waters, or we shall jail their people like that," he said. "We are first sending a message to the Indian government of releasing our friends in their hands or else they have to be ready for their citizens to be mistreated in the near future."
The Indian navy's third anti-piracy operation this year followed the capture of 28 Somali pirates last month and another 15 in January. Both groups are to be prosecuted in Mumbai.
Indian warships have been escorting merchant ships as part of international anti-piracy surveillance in the area since 2008.
Several nations, including the United States, are prosecuting pirate suspects captured by their militaries. But other suspects have been released as countries weigh legal issues and other factors.
The prosecutions, the growth of criminal gangs participating in piracy and the ever-increasing ransoms have heightened confrontations.
Five Puntland security forces and two pirates were killed earlier this month during a failed attempt to rescue Danish captives taken from their hijacked yacht to a pirate stronghold in the semiautonomous northern region of Somalia.
Weeks earlier, four Americans on a hijacked yacht were killed by pirates under circumstances that are still unclear. Four U.S. Navy vessels were shadowing the captured boat at the time, and 15 pirate suspects were taken into custody after the gunfire.
The owner of a Bangladeshi-flagged ship that was held for more than three months said that the vessel and 26 crew members were released Monday.
Mehrul Kabir declined to say whether any ransom was paid for the release of the M.V. Jahan Moni, which was seized off the Indian coast while transporting nickel ore from Indonesia to Greece, but the media in Bangladesh reported the pirates were paid $4.2 million.
"All the crew members on board are safe," Kabir told reporters in Dhaka.
Indian Govt. mulling idea of having armed guards on merchant ships
The Indian Government is mulling over the idea of having armed escorts on merchant ships akin to those appointed in airlines in the wake of an increase in the number of attacks by Somali pirates.
The decision is under consideration after Indian ship owners sought the government's permission to have guards on ships as a defensive mechanism.
The hijacking of ships near the coast of Somalia has cost the shipping industry millions of dollars. Pirates have continued to attack foreign ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, defying an armada of warships trying to protect the key maritime route.
Armed and trained personnel on board would be much more effective than naval ships sending commandos as the merchant vessels would have already been boarded by pirates. These guards will escort and maintain control of vessels to prevent hijacking or acts of terrorism.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has also clarified its stance on the use of private armed security guards to defend merchant ships against attacks by Somali pirates. The International Maritime Organisation guidelines stipulate that the decision to appoint armed escorts will be taken by individual government.
"India is considering providing armed guards on merchant ships and in this regard Director General (Shipping) will have to seek approval from the Indian Government," said a well-placed government source when asked if armed guards could be allowed on merchant ship.
The source added: "Indian Navy will support the proposal to have ship marshals on board merchant vessels in consultation with the Ministry of Defence."
On Saturday night, Somali pirates attacked an Indian Navy warship in the Arabian Sea, believing it to be a merchant ship, before being captured by marine commandos. In the biggest ever haul in anti-piracy operations; the INS Kalpeni arrested 61 pirates from a pirate mother ship Vega 5, 600 nautical miles off the country's west coast.
Somali pirates have hijacked a total of 174 merchant vessels from January 14, 2008, till March 11, 2011. According to the Piracy Reporting Center of the International Maritime Bureau, a total of 217 vessels were attacked last year, resulting in 47 hijackings.
India is also reportedly loosening up the rules of engagement procedures for its navy to allow a larger range of offensive actions.
India doing what Obama won’t do.
A self-described pirate in Somalia who gave his name as Bile Hussein
BLACKHAWK DROWNED: What Russian Navy sailors do to Somali Pirates
Don’t expect fair-play, ok?
Bonus: Yes, they do use the Phalanx on them, ok?
I guess I don’t understand why the international maritime navies don’t form convoys. That would put an end to all this. Hijackers would not attack or even get close to an armed convoy.
Five Puntland security forces... No sarcasm or smart remark intended, I’ve been all over the world, (as far I’ve been able, but where the Hell is Puntland?
Thank you. I’ve Never been to Somalia, never want to be and never will be. Your information will be dutifully filed in my NO, NO, NO, file.
Easy to see why G_D has wiped us out to start over so many times.
The Indians are simply pissed.
They stand flabbergasted at the weak kneed response of the West when maritime law makes the punishment for piracy abundantly clear.
And the Navy is just itching to go after the pirates and this clown may have just done that with his threats.
And anyway, Somali pirates will not find life much fun inside an Indian prison, who knows when they’ll come to trial.
kept hammerin the smolderin remains as well...great vid...
There is no sane explanation why piracy cannot be obliterated. The people attack in motor boats for pete’s sake!
“The navy captured 61 pirates fleeing the battle and the fire that broke out aboard the hijacked vessel. The battle is the latest example of the piracy trade’s turn toward increased violence.
A pirate in Somalia threatened Indian sailors and the government with targeted attacks in retaliation for the arrests.”
The 61 should simply disappear, never to be seen again.
Piracy should bring a one-way ticket to Davy Jone’s locker.
Five dozen pirates living on a hijacked ship serving as a roving pirate base jumped into the Arabian Sea on Monday after the Indian navy fired on the vessel in self-defense, the navy said Monday. The navy captured 61 pirates fleeing the battle and the fire that broke out aboard the hijacked vessel.Too bad the story isn't "the navy killed 61 pirates aboard a hijacked vessel."
Nothing will work until pirate bodies start washing ashore by the hundreds. Daily.
Can’t shipping cos just hire the Russians to work security?
Sort of like Vlad Putin, Mall Cop?
I’m assuming they could use the money and would be happy to sign up for the work. Greenpeace would be happy because the sharks would be well fed.
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